[poetry] Inheritance

She is hard edges, silence, worry lines, exhaustion,
and yet my selfish self would drain her dry.
I turn to her for comfort, an infant seeking
rock-a-byes of “Hush now, it will be
all right.”

(She holds me tight.)

We both know it never is.
That the maelstrom of years will demand I grow up
and, like her, harden, shatter–
it is already happening–
into innumerable glass shards;
wrap my heart in barbed wire.

I am the ice-queen’s daughter.
My inheritance: a transformation from child into soldier.
For now, we have each other. I have her stoic silence;
the worry lines that frame her mouth as she would hold me, crying.
Her arms shut the world out. She knows the wolves are at the door.
They came for her, and now they come for me.

I lost my ignorance too young; I know too much.
Know that the lines around her eyes are tracks of unshed tears.
One day I’ll have them too. One day, I will stop crying.
One day I’ll cease believing that the world should treat me kinder.
I will be used instead of needed. I will be broken
as she was. And like she is, I will be stronger–

–at what cost?
Oh Mother,
I wish that things were different for us.



One comment

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